There is one last point we need to discuss regarding being “members of the household of God” before we move on to Ephesians 1:20, and that is the unity and security that comes from being a member of a family.  Our verse for today reads as follows:

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God – Ephesians 2:19.

Yesterday we looked at how someone actually becomes a member of God’s household and focused our prayer time on Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus as found in John 3.  But today we want to examine the dynamics of being in a loving, functional family.  Not the type of dysfunctional, narcissistic, and often abusive families many of us came from.  But from the type of family God intended and designed.  The type of family we would expect with God as the Father.  Think about it.

Most families have members that don’t always agree or see things the same way.  In fact, sometimes members of a family may have political or social views that are in stark contrast to each other which makes mealtimes and holidays something of an adventure.  In addition, some families have siblings that often fight with each other, purposely irritate each other, and basically just get on each other’s nerves.  That’s the nature of the family.  Actually, it’s just human nature.  In a family, we might have teenagers who are fighting for independence, pre-teens who are either goofy or moody or just plain loud and annoying, toddlers who want nothing but undivided attention, and parents who are just tired and don’t seem to have the time for each other, let alone this growing gang of children.   In a functional family, often members are angry with each other and say things that are hurtful or cause pain.  It happens.

Love and Protection

But the one thing a family shares together, the finite nonnegotiable responsibility of being in a family, is love and a common bond for the protection of each other.

When an outsider, a stranger, begins to pick on a family member, the other members rally around and protect each other.  When someone tries to divide the family by choosing one member and excluding the others, a functional, loving family will see what is happening and always put family first.  “Sorry, if you can’t invite my sister to your party, then I can’t come either.”  Why?  Because family comes first.  Family bonds together.  Family is forever.  Family as a whole is more important than the wants of an individual member.  Again, why?  Because when the world turns against you (and it will) and all forsake you, who can you depend on for support and unconditional love?  That’s right, your family.  As the saying goes, “All for one, and one for all!”  Sorry, I borrowed the Three Muskateer slogan.  But it fits.

Remember, this type of family may not be the type of family you had growing up or have now, and you may have experienced your greatest hurt and rejection from members of your family.  I know I have.  And if that’s true of you, I am truly sorry.  But that’s not the way God intended it to be.

God tells us we are “fellow citizens with the saints (holy ones) and members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).  Or, to put it bluntly, we are family.  We are siblings with other believers and we all have God as our Father.  We are a family.  And the Lord calls this family, the new breed of people, these called-out ones, His church.

When you pray for others in your church, you are praying for your family.  You are praying for your brothers and sisters who all share a common heritage.  We all have the same DNA.  It’s called the Holy Spirit of promise who has “sealed” us and is “the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1:14).  By the way, the “purchased possession” is you and me and other family members in the “household of God”.

Time to Pray

Before you pray today, spend some time forgiving those in the “household of God” who may have hurt you deeply.  Forgive the elders, pastor, friends or fellow believers who may have caused you great pain.  Turn all those feelings and fears over to the Lord.  Don’t let a dysfunctional church family sour you on what church was meant to be.  If you will remember, most of the references to saints in Ephesians deal with praying for the church to be all God intended it to be, a loving, thriving, insightful, powerful, functional family of God.

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints – Ephesians 1:18

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God – Ephesians 2:19.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God – Ephesians 3:17-19.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ – Ephesians 4:11-12.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints – Ephesians 6:17-18.

Thank Him for creating the church and placing you in the midst of it.  And remember, as a family, we may not always agree about everything, but we will stand united, side by side, to protect, encourage, love, and pray for each other.

After all, that’s just what family does.

Until tomorrow.